This post was guest authored by Olivia Snow Smith.
Although the abuses of private equity have been starting to gain increased media attention, Taylor Swift’s immense fan base started paying attention when their idol tweeted about it last week. Sent out to her more than 89 million followers – incidentally, @taylorswift13 has almost 20 million more followers than @realDonaldTrump – Swift expressed her devastation at not being able to perform her own songs, because celebrity manager Scooter Braun acquired the rights to practically all of her early songs, with financing from private equity giant The Carlyle Group.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
Almost immediately, an army of #Swifties answered her rallying cry on Twitter. The social media service’s private equity hashtag, normally a thing for journalists and economists, was overrun by young women, almost all with pastel profile pictures of Taylor Swift, Camilla Cabello, or other young pop icons. Better yet, the next generation was more than capable of holding its own when they were being picked on for allegedly not knowing how business works.
Contrary to what you might think it’s not difficult for me to comprehend ☺️ I’m less focused on the legality of a multimillion dollar private equity contract and more focused on the fact that artists should own their work.
— alex (@_alexrose) November 16, 2019
A few scattered calls to storm Carlyle’s offices gave way to civic-minded letter writing. Within hours of Swift’s tweet, one fan started a petition. It was entitled “Let Taylor Swift/perform/use HER art.” The petitioned has garnered over 130,000 signatures. The comment section is filled with the hashtag #IStandWithTaylorSwift.
When comments first started pouring in after Swift’s initial tweet, the young women were bullied by men twice their age and told they didn’t know what they were talking about, that they didn’t know diddly about private equity. Five days later, those same girls had won their first victory. Swift will now be able to perform the forbidden songs at the upcoming American Music Awards.
Bmlg and sb projects are still power and money hungry people/companies! There is still corruption in the music industry! We need to keep bringing up the problem and fight for all artists, a battle was won but the war is still ongoing!
— jade (@tsholyground) November 18, 2019
What’s next for the campaign? We humbly suggest Swifties (and everyone) get behind the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, which goes after the financial tricks that made this deal possible. See here to learn more, and add your name to the fight!